History

The Central Lancs section of the VMCC was formed in August 1994 after a change of venue for the North West section became unsuitable for many members in the Preston, Bolton and Chorley areas. Members wanted to have a meeting place more central to their area. Coppull was chosen and the Central Lancs section was formed with David Hunter as Chairman, Ted Gabbott as Secretary and Mike Milton as Treasurer. Around 40 members made donations to help start up the section.

Initial meetings were at the Oak Tree in Coppull then 18 months later moved just down the road to the Alison Arms, and then to the present meeting place, The Bowling Green.

Numerous events have been held over the years many in conjunction with neighboring sections and we have now established a regular programme of events that attract riders from all over the Northwest.

The section is also keen to promote the use of pre-war bikes and one of the highlights of the event calendar is the 'Flat Tank and Girder Fork run'. This event has recently been featured in the magazine RealClassic and is on their web site - see the full article and pictures.

Sadly some of the original membership are no longer with us whilst others do not ride as regularly now, but in recent years new members have come along to maintain the enthusiasm for riding old bikes and keep the club spirit alive.


David Hunter: Founder member and Chairman from 1994 - 2007.

David has always been a keen motorcyclist from a very early age. Indeed a bad accident to his leg down the pit did not hamper his appetite for riding and fortunately for David his fourteen-year-old brother Peter, was a big enough lad to start a single, so for a while he was employed (and rode pillion) to start David's mount and carry his crutches!

David joined the VMCC in 1974 and later became the North West Regional Chairman. In 1986 when he was active within the North West Section he started the 'Worden Park Show' in Leyland to commemorate 40years of the VMCC. The show is still held in January and now attracts a great numbers of riders each year.

As well as being a founder member and Chairman of the Central Lancs VMCC for thirteen years he also spent a number of years on the management committee of the VMCC.

He has a great knowledge of early motorcycles and is always happy to assist members.

David HunterDavid Hunter

David Hunter on his 1936 Ariel Red Hunter and younger brother Peter on another of David's mounts at the time, a 1936 Sunbeam Model 9. The picture was taken in 1952.


Ted Gabbott: 1928 - 2009 Founder member and Secretary from 1994 - 2001

Sadly Ted died on the 3rd of January 2009. Ted started riding at sixteen under doctor's orders. It's true - Ted had Rheumatic Fever as a child, which for a while left him with a heart murmur. For this reason the Doctor advised him to stop riding his pushbike and get a motorbike! He joined the VMCC in the early 50's and held the position of North West Regional secretary for many years. In 1957 he and a handful of pals decided to ride Lands End to John O'Groats. They set off one Saturday to Lands End then on Monday morning set off for John O'Groats, arriving their on the Wednesday. Thursday morning they set off again and arrived back home on Saturday morning. By my calculations that's twice and a total distance of about 1734 miles, which wasn't bad to test out Ted's new mount - a 1925 Norton 16H side-valve!! Ted kept to his original Doctors orders and rode his bikes including his beloved Norton 'Nora' and sidecar into his eighties! His last combination was a Yamaha Drag Star 1100cc'V' twin! He was a long-standing member of the club and an avid supporter and rider of veteran and vintage motorcycles and will be sadly missed.

Read Mark Hodgsons article in The Veteran and Vintage Magazine, September 1959.

Ted GabbetTed Gabbet

The first picture shows the Land's End to John O'Groats run organised by Mark Hodgson. From the left: John Bone who did the trip on his 1921 New Imperial with J.A.P 250cc engine. It was the bike that Graham Prentice won the 1921 TT on! Ted Gabbott, Frank Farrington and Allen Croft. Mark Hodgson is unfortunately taking the photograph. A more recent picture of Ted on his beloved 1925 Norton 16H side valve affectionately known as 'Nora'.


Mike Milton: Founder Member and Treasurer from 1994 to 2011

Mike has been riding since he was fourteen and started out on a 1937 Sunbeam Model 8.

In 1969 Mike was actively riding in Borneo and then Hong Kong from 1975 until 1987. Whilst living abroad he was involved in running many motor sports including rallies, sprints and hill climbs. Mike also helped run the Macau Grand Prix and was FIM steward for various events including Moto - cross in Hong Kong.

He joined the vintage club in 1987 then a member of the North West section. He was a founder member of the Central Lancs and has been the Treasurer from its inception until 2011.

Mike MiltonMike Milton

Mike Milton with his 1966 Kawasaki SG 250cc pushrod single. It was produced with a Mitsubishi dynastart and solenoid exhaust valve lifter and was based on the old Meguro design. If you look closely without too much imagination you can see BSA and Horax styling influences. The other picture shows some of the collection of cups Mike has won in motor sports over the years.